Caffeine is great, isn’t it? Hot coffee feels comforting in the winter, and cold coffee is the go-to drink for a hot summer day. Most of the time, caffeine is the only thing that keeps you awake through the day. However, everyone wants to go caffeine-free now. It’s one of the newest trends in the fitness industry and is garnering a lot of support. Caffeine-free drinks are readily available in cafes and restaurants, and more and more people are stepping away from aerated drinks because of caffeine.
But why should you go caffeine-free? Maybe you haven’t felt any ill effects of caffeine on your health. Maybe you feel like you can’t do without your cup of coffee in the morning. Caffeine is an addiction, and like all addictive substances, it isn’t great for your health in the long run.
Here’s why you should go caffeine-free at least once in your adult life.
1. You will feel calmer and more relaxed through the day
Caffeine makes you more active but it also increases your anxiety levels. If you feel anxious even without caffeine, your anxiety will only get worse with caffeine. Use other measures, like regular exercise, hydration and a light diet, to stay active. As opposed to caffeine’s stronger but short-lived effect, these measures will last longer. Eventually, you will be consistently active and relatively calmer.
2. If you have high blood pressure, caffeine is not your friend.
If you’re below 35, blood pressure problems may not have shown up just yet. But if your parents have high blood pressure, go easy on the caffeine. You could be setting yourself up for problems in the future. With the increased anxiety, your blood pressure can shoot up too. High blood pressure can weaken your heart and lead to cardiac problems. One cup of coffee a day won’t affect your blood pressure significantly, but a high intake of caffeine will. So think about the beverages you’re drinking, besides coffee.
3. You will sleep better, which means you will be more productive the next day
Since caffeine makes you active, it also affects your sleep hygiene. By dinnertime, you should be winding down and mentally getting ready to end the day. But a regular high intake of caffeine won’t let that happen. Even if you don’t have coffee in the evening, you could be ingesting caffeine in other ways. A Coke with dinner or a cup of tea after it will also add to your caffeine intake. And when you’re caffeinated, you’re not going to sleep well. If you’re not going to sleep well, you’re going to be cranky and quite unproductive the next day.
4. Your teeth will look and feel better
It’s a known fact that caffeine can discolour your teeth. The high levels of tannins in coffee and tea can stain your teeth over a period of time. Caffeine in carbonated drinks can damage your teeth as well. The acidity levels in these drinks weaken the enamel of your teeth and make you more susceptible to dental problems. Let’s face it. The prospect of fewer trips to the dentist makes going caffeine-free completely worth it, doesn’t it?
5. You will be able to manage your weight better.
An excess of coffee, tea or any caffeinated drink affects your gut health. Your digestion goes off schedule when caffeine infiltrates your body. When your digestion isn’t right, your weight will increase too, and not in a good way. You may not notice it immediately, but caffeine is detrimental to any weight loss efforts. Sure, it’ll give you a boost of energy just before hitting the gym. But if your digestion is getting affected by it, stay away from that daily dose of black coffee.
Going off caffeine isn’t easy. Like every addictive substance, you will have withdrawal symptoms when you give up caffeine too. The weaning off period will feel awful. You will feel the need to run back to your beloved source of caffeine every hour of every day. To avoid this, don’t cut yourself off immediately. Start slow and keep reducing your caffeine intake every day, bit by bit. Try different caffeine-free drinks to keep your mind off coffee and tea. Supplement this practice with a healthy diet and as much exercise as you can manage. Eventually, you will not be dependent on caffeine to power through the week.